MA in Global Cinemas


Read more about this program on the school's website

Program Description

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or part-time

The MA in Global Cinemas (formerly MA Global Cinemas and the Transcultural) offers students the unique opportunity to study in-depth regional cinemas outside the now standard research topographies - both geographical and theoretical - of mainstream cinema studies, so opening up avenues for advanced research in areas and methodologies as yet untapped. Alternatively, it provides an avenue of study for those simply wishing to obtain a post-graduate qualification in Cinema Studies without being confined to a European- and/or American-centric world-view. The optional elements of the degree allow students the opportunity to specialize in one or more of the many regional cinemas on offer in the School: Japanese, Chinese (mainland, Hong Kong & Taiwanese), mainland and maritime South-East Asian, Indian, Iranian, Middle Eastern and African. It also enables students to combine specialist film studies knowledge with a module in an Asian or African language or to advance their social and cultural knowledge of a given region through an ethnographic module. Alternatively, through our links with University of London Screen Studies Group, students may choose from a selection of optional modules to further develop cross-cultural perspectives in an east/west framework.

SOAS is exceptional in its geographical focus, and the expertise in the disciplines of Film and Screen Studies makes us unique in the field. In a ‘global’ industry, film and media scholars, and practitioners are increasingly recognising the need for a move toward the study of image cultures and industries beyond the historical hegemonies of the European and Hollywood industries. This has been more than evident in the career trajectories of graduates from this degree, who have gone on to find employment in Film Festivals (Venice to name one), DVD distribution companies and the art-house cinema circuit, while others with a practice-based background have gone onto form their own production companies, in one case producing documentaries for Al-Jazeera (see the Contraimage link on the SOAS Centre for Film and Screen Studies website). Other graduates have followed the more traditional pathway into PhD programmes where they have been singularly successful in competing for AHRC studentships.


Occasionally the availability of optional modules changes as a result of staffing and other circumstances. Students who had signed up for such modules will be notified as soon as possible and given the opportunity to choose from available alternatives.

Students must take 180 credits in total, comprised of 120 taught credits and a 60-credit dissertation, as outlined below.


  • Dissertation for MA Global Cinemas

Taught Component

Core Module

  • Film and Screen Studies: Past and Present

Compulsory Modules

Choose module(s) to the value of 45 credits from List A.

Guided Option

Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from List A or List B (including selected University of London modules).

Open Option

Choose module(s) to the value of 30 credits from the Postgraduate Open Options list (including a language).

List of Modules (subject to availability)

List A:

  • Curating Africa: African Film and Video in the Age of Festivals
  • The Story of African Film: Narrative Screen Media in Africa
  • Film and Society in the Middle East
  • Genders and Sexualities in South East Asian Film
  • Indian Cinema: Its History and Social Context
  • Indian Cinema: Key Issues
  • Issues in Anthropology and Film
  • Japanese Post-War Film Genres and the Avant-Garde
  • Japanese Transnational Cinema: From Kurosawa to Asia Extreme and Studio Ghibli
  • Modern Chinese Film and Theatre (PG)
  • Modern Film from Taiwan and the Chinese Diaspora (PG)
  • (Post) Colonialism and Otherness in South East Asia on Screen
  • Post-crisis Thai Cinema (1997-2007)
  • Indonesia on Screen(PG)
  • Vietnam on Screen (PG)

List B:

  • Other modules on Media
    • Theoretical and Contemporary Issues in Global Media and Post-National Communication
  • Modules in Social Anthropology
    • Culture and Society of China
    • Culture and Society of East Africa
    • Culture and Society of Japan
    • Culture and Society of South Asia
    • Culture and Society of South East Asia
    • Culture and Society of Near and Middle East
    • Culture and Society of West Africa

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session.

Admissions and Applications

You can apply for this course via the online application form.

We aim to assess a complete application and provide a decision within a 5-week time frame. Overseas students who require a Tier 4 visa and wish to join SOAS should bear in mind visa applications can take several weeks, so you should apply as soon as possible.

Consideration of Application

The whole application, including transcript and references, is considered before a decision is reached. You are therefore advised to submit a complete application including references and transcript (where required). An incomplete application will add considerable delays to the decision-making process.

Students will receive an acknowledgement of their application. Each application is carefully considered and although we try and respond as quickly as possible, we do ask that students should expect to receive a response within five weeks of receipt.

Candidates who are available in the United Kingdom may be called for an interview. The absence of academic members of staff (or instance on study leave) may affect the timing of decisions.

Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

English Language Entry Requirements

Minimum upper second class honours degree (or equivalent).

International students

For EU and International students who need a visa, if unconditional entry scores are achieved we accept qualifications from several countries, as well as a range of international qualifications and tests.

If a Tier 4 entry visa is required then a SELT, such as UKVI IELTS may be needed. For this reason, we recommend all Tier 4 visa students to choose the UKVI IELTS Academic test as the test of first resort.

Last updated Oct 2019

About the School

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues.

SOAS University of London welcomes the brightest minds to study on its central London campus with like-minded individuals who feel passionately about contemporary world issues. Read less
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